If you find yourself in a car accident or any incident that causes injury and results from negligence, then you have a personal injury case. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we’ve seen people unaware of the state laws that apply to their case.
Whether you’re settling an insurance claim or filing a civil lawsuit, some laws would apply. This article sheds light on some of them. But to find out more, contact our personal injury lawyers at Pinder Plotkin, LLC.
Shared Fault Rules in Maryland
It is common for car accident victims to file an insurance claim against the fault driver’s insurance carrier. It is also common for the fault driver or their insurer to argue that the victim shared some blame in the collision. In a scenario like the latter, Maryland shared fault rules would apply.
This law is known as the contributory negligence law. It simply prevents the plaintiff in a personal injury claim from collecting damages from the at-fault party if they are also liable. It means that if, after a car accident, for instance, the evidence points that you contributed in some way, there is no compensation for you.
So, suppose a speeding driver collides with a driver that suddenly turns in front of them. They would share the liability. Maryland courts apply this rule in personal injury actions where there is clear evidence that the plaintiff was partly at fault. Insurance adjusters also use it during settlement negotiations.
Maryland Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits
Our years of practice as personal injury lawyers have shown that most people wait too long to file a lawsuit. This is because they are unaware that Maryland law set a deadline for when they must commence an action. Under the Statute of Limitations, victims have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you plan to seek redress for a civil wrong, you must keep this timeline in mind. Note that insurance companies often drag out settlement negotiations for a long time. When this happens, you should get an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
That way, if you settle with the insurance company, you can take your money and withdraw the lawsuit. If you’re unable to arrive at a settlement, you already have an ongoing action in court, and the limitation laws do not work against you. Once the three years elapse and you haven’t filed a lawsuit, you become statute-barred.
In that case, you might have no choice but to accept whatever amount the insurance company offers you. In that instance, since the insurer knows that you can no longer pursue legal action, they’ll offer less than what’s fair. Lastly, if your injury claim is against the government, you have one year to file a formal claim and three years to file a lawsuit.
Maryland Damage Caps
Damage caps are laws that limit the number of damages victims get in a personal injury lawsuit. These limits do not apply to all categories of compensation. They apply mostly to non-economic damages like pain and suffering. In some states, damage caps only apply to some types of injury cases, especially medical malpractice.
In Maryland, damage caps apply to all non-economic damages and for all injury cases. The caps change on October 1st each year to reflect the new inflation rate. The applicable damage cap depends on several factors, like when the injury occurred. The measurement starts from the date of the accident. Consult a personal injury lawyer to find out the current damage cap.
Maryland Auto Insurance Laws
In Maryland, auto insurance laws are based on the “fault” model. It means that the injured victim has the right to file a claim against the fault driver’s insurance coverage. For this reason, drivers must carry a minimum of $30,000 policy for bodily injury per person.
The amount is $60,000 per accident. In some cases, the policy may cover or be unable to cover the injury and losses of the victim. If the latter happens to you, you can cover expenses from your insurance policy. The law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the money spent. But keep in mind that if the fault party is not solvent, you might be unable to recover what you spent.
Need a Personal Injury Attorney? Contact Pinder Plotkin, LLC
At Pinder Plotkin, LLC, we understand that legal problems can be unsettling and somewhat scary. But you don’t have to start the process alone because we are here to help. Our personal injury lawyers would supply all the help you need and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get a free consultation.